Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Seafood in Centro

El Cangrejito
57 x 64 y 66

The little crab is the name of this, the best, seafood taco stand in the world. Well maybe. The owner can be a crab too but lately he has been awfully friendly. Don't let him scare you. Sit down order a beer and ask for one or two of everything. That will make him happy and then you can decide what you like. Don't be offended if he serves his loyal clientel before he sneers at you. I never sat in the back room until a couple of weeks ago. It is a treasure trove of kitsch and it takes the edge off the wait for your food. The best things to order are cherna, langousta, venado, pulpo, camarones and of course cangrejito. I don't so much like the empanzidao or the stuffed pepper that is breaded too.

June 2008 Update: I still go most weeks to El Cangrejito. It's always great. A lot of our guests who are only around for a few days can't get enough of El Cangrejito either. Save room for dessert or take some home the meringues. I love the coconut and squash seed patties as well.

June 2011 Update: Still Great!!!

Marlin Azul
62 x 57 y 59

Fish soup superb. Outstanding ceviche of octopus or shrimp or fish or mixed. I like all the tacos. Fried breaded grouper is 3 dollars and enough for 2, crispy and fresh. I like the bar on the side where you can make eye contact with the servers. The room next door has AC but the waiter is less attentive and there is a mirrored wall. I'm just beyond the point of wanting to look at myself having lunch!

June 2008 Update: I've changed my mind. They have renovated and now I love sitting in the new room with big booths and AC! I'm addicted to the ceviche. I go every week!

September 2011 Update: I still go to Marlin Azul at least once a week. Now I get flawless service after all these years and the waiters bring me my lemonade with soda (no sugar) as soon as I sit down. Still loving the friend grouper and everyone who orders it a la plancha is always jealous of mine. It's also good in the garlic sauce. A new discovery that is not on the menu is the Octopus in it's ink. It's Octopus season now and very good.

Here are two popular Seafood restaurants near centro.

La Pigua
Calle 33 no. 505 a x Avenida Cupules y 62
(near the hotel districts)

A business man's luncheon restaurant that is open from 12-6. It's pricey, it's stuffy but it's not all bad. La Pigua is reputed to be the best seafood restaurant in the Yucatan. If that is true then it is a sad state of affairs for seafood.

Is it the aquariums or the decor alone that reminds me of a shopping mall in Waco,Texas circa 1975? Don't think that the grilled items on the menu will be grilled. A la plancha means griddled to death not grilled. Go for the fried anything. Fried is always good! If you are not going out to the beach this could be as close as you'll get to the real deal. Huachinago/Snapper, Robalo/Snook,Dorado/Dolphin Fish, Boquinete/Hog Fish, Pamapno, Cazon/Baby Shark, Rubia/Yellow Tail. I've warned you about the decor and ambiance, enjoy the food....

June 2008 update: I've lowered my standards. After almost 7 years in Merida I have a higher tolerance for bad decor. I've been 4 or 5 times to La Pigua in the past month. Part of the reason is the coconut cake which is a world class dessert and should not be missed. The other reason is I discovered the Sir Frances Drake. It is a huge plate of giant chunks of seafood. It's a pile of squid, conch, octopus, fish and shrimp! I'm less impressed with the other dishes I've tried but a couple of beers, ceviche and coconut cake is enough to keep me going back week after week.

Muelle 8
Calle 21 No. 141 Col. Buenavista, tel. 944 5343

The shock of the horrid Gilligan Island decor kept me away from this seafood instituion for the past 7 years. Some Xmeridianos who now live in Oaxaca took me there last week. We had a scallop carpacio and a octopus carpacio that were better than anything I've ever been served in this town. We had a fish ceviche and a second order of scallops. Yummy.